SOS Children’s Villages was founded in Jamaica in 1970, and since that time has grown to construct two children’s homes, located in Barrett Town, Montego Bay and Stony Hill, St. Andrews. SOS Children’s Villages provides permanent homes to children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or whose families are unable to care for them. Their mission is to build families for children in need, help children shape their own futures, and share in the development of their communities. Overall these facilities serve over 500 children in their homes, schools, and youth facilities.
SOS Children’s Villages put their 2015 grant towards their Nutrition and Food/Security Self-Sustainability Initiative through the building of two chicken coops and through the cultivation of cash crops at each location. The project is designed to assist the two children’s homes in providing food and skills training to the children, and improving financial sustainability. The two chicken coops constructed hold 100 chickens each, providing 60% of the meat nutrition for the 127 children and 14 staff members, and drawing in the participation of the children in daily operations.
Children volunteer to participate in the rearing of the chickens and readily volunteer as it allows them to develop skills and have fun. The children are very involved in the project and take part at all levels from rearing to plucking and packaging for sale within the Village community and to outside customers. This project has positively impacted the behavior of the children through regular time outdoors and improvements in creativity, and mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing. The project also increases the self-reliance of the Villages increasing the sustainability of the operations.